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July 5, 2013 in Lighthouse Insights | Tags: Bible, Bible study, Christian life, confession, growing spiritually, journalling, letter writing, pen pals, praying, spiritual disciplines, truth | Leave a comment
My 7 year old just started emailing back and forth with a pen pal who lives overseas. It’s a sweet thing to watch two young girls from different cultures try to get to know one another and to relate simply on being of similar age and gender with a huge language barrier. Girls like to have friends and to know one another. It’s so beautiful. There is something divine about the longing to know someone, something in us that longs to know and be known.
As I was finishing up my Bible study for today, I realized that I have a pen pal, too. Quite a few years ago I learned that the best way for me to stay focused in prayer is to journal. So, after years of journalling my prayers – I have a rhythm (that varies… like jazz). I start by praising God for some aspects of Who He is, then I thank Him for something specific – sometimes about Him, sometimes about something He’s done, and sometimes for someone. Then I confess my known sins, and ask Him for forgiveness and to empty me of me then fill me to overflowing with the Holy Spirit. THEN I get to the petitions and intercession. When I have the time, I love to pray until I feel empty of worries and burdens – sometimes it takes an hour, sometimes 5 minutes, but it’s like pouring out my heart to Him – being fully known.
Similar to knowing 9 hours of sleep is my optimum sleep time for the night (which will happen again another season of my life), I know my optimum daily time with God includes my journalling prayer, my prayer cards (I pray for specific things for each of my family members on different days of the week and for specific people on different days of the week from our church and those God has knitted to my heart), and my Bible study. Now that I have 3 kiddos, often those things come at different times throughout the day (or week!), but I loved it when I could spend an hour and a half with God a day. I never in my wildest imagination envisioned myself as someone who would be spending that much time with God – or someone who would be ABLE to.
My Bible study each day is when God writes me back. I love to actually write out questions to God in my journal and then look back to see how He’s answered those questions. Sometimes He answers them that day and with some questions I’m still awaiting His reply. I love the picture of Him being my Pen Pal, because, like Snail Mail Pen Pals, sometimes it takes awhile to get a response, but oh the joy of seeing mail in the mailbox and your name on the letter your Pal has written you – that happens to me when God highlights truths and shows that He knows me and wants to be known by me.
If you think writing letters back and forth to God is a silly concept, just think of how many books of the Bible are actually letters from someone to someone else God used to speak His truth to us. So, if you are having a hard time connecting to God – open up the love letter He penned for you long, long ago just awaiting your reply then write Him back!
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God
so that you may know that you have eternal life.”
1 John 5:13